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Captain Apache (1971)

3.1 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Lee Van Cleef's character is captured and held in a cave where "magic mushrooms" grow.

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Product Details

  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000W90J82
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,751 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
"April Morning": two code words for impending shenanigans in this classic Lee Van Cleef film that encompass its rambling and somewhat mysteriously incoherent plot-but that's business-as-usual for a good Spaghetti Western. Mr. Van Cleef definitely had style in his Western wardrobes. His Captain Apache has one of the coolest jackets I've ever seen. Carrol Baker looks gorgeous in this, but Stuart Whitman looks tired. Lee Van Cleef looks great! He's stylin' with a rare hairpiece. Genre add-ons such as the two flamboyantly dressed henchmen, and classic lines such as, "For that, I'll let you whack my horse!" add spice to the spaghetti sauce. As I've said before about the Spaghetti Westerns, the original theater prints had extremely vibrant colors and most VHS copies have lost this. Now Kino Lorber has wisely chosen this film to display in its full glory. And to top things off, Captain Apache sports one of those kooky, great theme songs (like Return of Sabata) that fans of this genre adore sung by the Van Cleef, himself! If only Boot Hill and The Deserter could join this resurrection.
The plot has been maligned, but that is not doing it justice. The audience shares Captain Apache's puzzled investigation and it ends in a supreme ironic situation--one that leads to a question of the perceived necessity of a hero. Profound indeed.
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Format: DVD
Lee Van Cleef is definitely the key feature of this film set back in the 1800s. If you don't like spaghetti westerns - and especially if you don't like the "Good, Bad Ugly" set of movies, you're going to hate this one. This is exactly in that same style, with very similar plotting and silliness. However, if you love those types of movies, you're going to have fun here.

Van Cleef is a native american who is a member of the US Army. He's investigating a mysterious plot which involves something sinister in the government. Every person he talks to seems to know about the plot but is not able to give him information. He goes from person to person, trying to determine what is going on. He gets teased about being a "red ass", is beaten up, drugged, beaten up some more, and ridiculed some more.

There's very little about being an Indian here, with perhaps the exception that people beat on him for it. He does meet up with an Indian Chief at one point, and has to strip out of his army clothes before he can be talked to.

If you're a western fan, this is definitely a DVD to rent, to see if it strikes your fancy. If you enjoy it, it can become one of those cult classics that you put on at 2am and enjoy reciting a few lines along with.
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Format: DVD
......but a film that hovers perilously close to spoofing the genre. Make your own mind up!

However, the roles suit the main actors down to the ground (I agree, Van Cleef's strongest outing on film) and there are some memorable scenes plus bizarre moments - the burning fuse showdown, for example. The dialogue is rare and sharp.

I think the best way of describing it, is a surreal take on the traditional western with a mystery thrown in like a cryptic clue, "April Morning". There is a very similar crazy western with Robert Shaw and Telly Savalas which springs to mind. When I remember its name I will come back and edit this review.* The thing is, by the late 1960s, the genre had been well and truly mined to exhaustion on both small and big screen, and thus came certain productions which seem to be a collection or synthesis of odd and weird moments that cropped up in isolation in many of these westerns.

For all that it works very well and is highly enjoyable, especially late at night with a few glasses.

* 'A Town Called Hell'
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Produced in 2007? The film was produced in 1971. Why does Amazon state 2007? If you realize that it is a 1971 film than one can be a little more forgiving on the style and look of the movie. The movie can even be a little more entertaining by experiencing what a movies where like in the 1970s that was pure, entertainment western; notice the dialogue, hair style and what was allowed to be viewed in the theater. Watching it on amazon instant video was like watching a movie in the theater wilth the projector lightbulb doing dim. It was difficult to view and see the scenes that took place at dark which was much of the movie. Because of the time the movie was produced I give this movie 3 stars. If the movie was to be rated as if the movie was made since 2000, the script, plot, sound track and filming was so terrible I would have given it a one or two stars, But in a way I still found it entertaining. Finally, it should be noted that I think this movie may have been socially progressive for the 1970's in that the main character is not just a great white American male as almost all westerns were before and during that time, but a mixed race guy who has the rank of an officer in the U.S. Army. Finally, Finally, this movie could almost be a movie you could watch with your older children because the typical sexual scenes and violence shown in todays movies would not be present and the dialogue pointing to that kind of action in this movie they may not understand.
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